There’s this thing about working at a high-output job like Kotaku where at the end of the year, you scroll back through the RSS of everything you posted and kind of just gape at it.
“Oh yeah, that article! I forgot I wrote or even conceptualized that.”
It’s certainly one of the challenges of the gig, but the high rate-of-fire is also a way to amass a bulky body of work in a short period of time. 2012 was the year we began to do separate “Channels” at Kotaku, the idea being to let our writers each highlight their expertise in various areas on the site. I got to run “Kotaku Melodic,” ostensibly dedicated to the intersection of games and music. I of course treated it more as my own personal fiefdom to write about Miles Davis, Kimbra, Amanda Palmer, and whatever the hell else I wanted. It was great.
I went back over the year and put together this post rounding up the best of the year at Kotaku Melodic. I’m immensely proud of the work we did this year. Give it a read, won’t you?
–The Year In Music At Kotaku–
Watching, waiting. For the inevitable showdown.
Well, it has been quite a while since I’ve updated this blog. The realities of writing hundreds of blog posts per month somewhere else has run me dry for sharing things here, I’m afraid.
I still really want to have a space on the web that’s just like, my stuff, though I’m figuring out what that looks like exactly. (Should I finally start using my Tumblr account for something other than the Kotaku tumblr? I ask you.)
But in the meantime, I will be posting here throughout the rest of December to round up the year that was, share some work I’m proud of, and maybe talk about some other things that went down in 2012.
For today though, a podcast. The lovely Australian journalist/writer Patrick Stafford asked me to go on his show The Crafting Podcast, where we talked about what I do, why I do it, and how I came to be where I am. Seriously, we went all the way back to high school. So, if you’re curious about any of that, you can listen to it here:
I had a lot of fun; thanks to Patrick for having me on, and for being such a gracious host.
More to come, including year-end round-ups, and other fun stuff.
After keeping it under our hats for a few weeks, Kotaku has finally announced our ongoing partnership with The New York Times, in which our writers will be providing the bulk of their game coverage. Our EIC Stephen Totilo will be writing more involved “Critic’s Notebooks” along with longtime Times writer Chris Suellentrop, and Kotaku will be providing abridged versions of our reviews for the back of the arts section.
Our first reviews went out in yesterday’s paper (shown above, since of course I bought a copy). I was really happy that one of my reviews made the cut–that review being a rundown of The Walking Dead‘s second episode, which you can read here on the Times website.
Since this is a partnership deal and the reviews are abridged copies of reviews we’ve already run on our site, we don’t get individual bylines. Which, yeah, is a bit of a bummer–it sure would have been nice to have my name in the NYT! All things in time, I suppose.
We’ll be providing reviews for the paper on an ongoing basis, so every time you see video game reviews in the Arts section, they were written by either me or my Kotaku colleagues.
It’s a really exciting time at Kotaku, and I’m immensely proud of the work we’re doing. It’s been a wild six months since Stephen took over as EIC, and we’re all working really hard to make the site the most interesting, entertaining and informative video game site in the world.
Thanks everyone for reading. See you in the Arts section!
Hey, look at that! I went on Anthony Carboni’s show “New Challenger” again, this time to talk about the super-broken and weird Kinect game Steel Battalion. We also talk about the Kinect in general, what it does well, what it does poorly, what it could do in the future.
I wore a nicer shirt this time than I did last time. I’m pretty happy about it. Moral of the story: If you’re going on-camera, wear a nice shirt.
Thanks for having me, Mr. Carboni.
Discussion of the whole “growing the jazz audience” idea continues! Because hey, this is not something that gets conceptualized and then put to bed in a couple of weeks.
In the interest of keeping the discussion going, NPR’s “A Blog Supreme” has gathered a few responses to Kurt Ellenberger’s original piece, among them the one I wrote for Kotaku.
I’m happy to see my work discussed at an NPR blog, particularly given the fact that I get to blindside jazz folks by posting such an article on a video game website. (In the NPR article, author Patrick Jarenwattananon refers to Kotaku as “of all places” two times. Ha!)
I have to say I wish I got the sense that there were more people engaging with this discussion with the same vigor as Kurt did. I’ve seen jazz musicians on Facebook and in comments sections using this discussion as an excuse to bring up bones they’ve been picking for a while–the academization of jazz, the way that largely white college professors have ruined things, the effect of Berklee in the 80′s, the unfair misconceptions under which jazz has labored for decades now.
But I’ve seen a dispiriting lack of further, deeper discussion, of people looking to honestly engage in these bigger questions: Whose responsibility is it to keep an artistic movement alive? What role does artistic evolution play in that? How might we better teach music to young people? Is a holistic approach to musical education perhaps more engaging and successful than a strict adherence to jazz dogma? How far can you go before you lose fundamentals?
These questions are asked routinely at conventions like the IAJE (now defunct) and JEN, of course. But questions as vital as those shouldn’t be relegated to educators’ journals and conventions. They should be online, and everyone who wants to hear them should be able to.
I’m thankful to Kurt for bringing this conversation out into the light, and I’m glad to see that it’s continuing. I hope to see some more responses published in the future. I get the sense that this conversation is only beginning, and that it’s a worthwhile one to be having.
—Your Comments About Building Jazz Audiences And Musicians With Day Jobs [NPR]—
This week, I’ll be in Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, a.k.a. E3, a.k.a. Videogameapalooza 2012.
E3 is the massive annual consumer trade show where all the big video game companies and publishers (Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Ubisoft, EA, Activision, etc.) announce their big games and more or less set the publishing schedule for the next year.
I’ll be on the ground covering the event for Kotaku, which is going to be wild. Even though we bring all 9 of our North American writers to the show, we’re still a much smaller force than the other big sites (IGN, Gamespot and the like), so we make up for it by being scrappy, personable, and (hopefully) interesting.
I’ll be cranking out a ton of writing over there, so you can either follow the sidebar here with my posts, or follow Kotaku’s E3 Tagpage for all E3 news. I’ll certainly be tweeting a lot from the event, as well.
I have a plane to catch. See you in L.A.!